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Stop The Riaa's Radio Interference!

Teddy Rogers

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Teddy Rogers
Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) has introduced a bill which, if passed, would hog-tie digital radio forever. It's called the "Audio Broadcast Flag Licensing Act of 2006," H.R. 4861, and it demands that new radio designs obey a remarkably limited, backward-looking vision of the future.

The Audio Broadcast Flag would force innovators to work to the RIAA's specifications, putting in government-mandated locks and DRM to prevent any possible "unauthorized" copying on their new digital radio sets. That's not merely banning copying that is already unlawful The new bill would ban any use that copyright holders don't explicitly authorize beforehand.

So what would "authorized" home radio recording look like? Previous drafts and RIAA comments to the FCC give an idea. There would be no automatic recording in the RIAA's world - recordings could only be made if a human presses the button or sets the set to record at a specific time. No broadcast could be recorded for less than 30 minutes (that's right, less than: your manual record button would jam in the "on" position until half an hour has passed in order to assure that you're not recording single songs. And you wouldn't be able to fast-forward with sound or skip directly to particular songs.

This will send radio backwards in time, at just the moment when it was about to enter a new age. You can forget about a radio TiVo ever happening. The RIAA would ban any such innovation. It would be radio their way.

The RIAA has no right to dictate to the American people what the future of broadcasting and technological innovation should be. And the FCC is there to protect us from radio interference, not to become a tool of the RIAA's interference with our home recording rights. Tell your lawmakers to stop the audio flag.



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I know this is a serious matter, but I think the RIAA is acting like a huge retard at this point.

Never have I once heard that tapes were illegal, but people have been recording stuff off the radio on to tapes for a long time now. Granted lately that this trend isn't very popular as there are other mediums, but the premise behind this bill is the exact same thing.

Plus there is legitimate use for digital radio, such as the expression of independent and fresh talent that might not have the budget to be heard by the big music industry.

I also find it disappointing that some of the fines now imposed by the DMCA for music is now worse than some of the most heinous crimes possible. I know it's legitimately possible for someone to be punished more for having copyrighted music than having child loveography on their computer.

The RIAA needs to wake up.

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